Milwaukee Bucks Media Day 2012: The Bench (Part IV)


We’re wrapping up ‘Bucks Media Day Coverage Week’ with the best of the Bucks’ rest. You’ve heard from head coach Scott Skiles, general manager John Hammond, and Milwaukee’s projected starters. Now, feel free to take a listen to what the revamped bench had to say — highlighted, naturally, by a few Drew Gooden quotes.

Oh, and Ekpe Udoh apparently wants to be the next Ersan Ilyasova.

While you try to wrap your mind around that, here are transcribed excerpts and full audio from the 10-man bench:

Drew Gooden (click here for full audio)

On transitioning to the center position last year:

Oct. 1, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Drew Gooden waits for a question while participating in a media interview during Milwaukee Bucks media day at the Bucks Training Center in Milwaukee. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

"Actually, to be honest with you, the center role is a lot easier than the power forward role as far as a defensive matchup. You think I’m crazy right now saying that, but it’s actually true. Think about how many power forwards — night in, night out, Eastern Conference and Western Conference — you have to face. A lot of those guys are all-stars, too. The nights you really had to get your rest was against Dwight, Bynum and a couple other guys. But other than that, I felt like I could compete at that level of playing center some nights."

On his stockpile of injuries last season:

"People say it was a short season – not in my books. It was my 10th season, probably one of the hardest seasons I had to play. Night in, night out and playing banged up…I saw my physical therapist; still trying to keep my foot right. I had a torn ligament in my right wrist that eventually healed with no surgery. I had a full fracture in my talus bone in my ankle, which I didn’t know until after the season. I had to take some time off. I was really playing banged up, but we needed that."

On how Brandon Jennings has changed the last couple of years:

"Brandon came in at, I don’t know, 19 years old maybe. He’s old enough to go to a casino now, so that’s a big change in itself. But, he’s maturing. He knows the game. He’s doing a great job being a professional."

On whether you have to like or respect your coach to succeed:

"‘You like your boss?’ There are ups and downs. ‘You like your wife every day? ‘You like your husband?’ There are ups and downs with everything. There are always waves, but at the end of the day we’re in this together. The only way we can work it out is seeing eye-to-eye, coming on common ground, and carrying out our tasks."

On what he thinks Samuel Dalembert will bring to the Bucks:

"He brings length. He rebounds well. We needed that. When Andrew Bogut went down, it was tough for us. It kind of makes it full circle, because he actually fell on Samuel Dalembert’s foot when he broke his ankle, and now Samuel Dalembert is our center. We’re in a fortunate place right now to have him come in and provide some size and some length and a defensive presence."

Luc Mbah a Moute (click here for full audio)

On his availability in training camp following his offseason knee surgery:

"I probably won’t be participating in training camp. That’s about as far as I know, but I hope to be back soon."

On how the lingering knee problems troubled him last season:

Oct. 1, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute participates in a media interview during Milwaukee Bucks media day at the Bucks Training Center in Milwaukee. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

"The plan was to just get rid of the pain and get back to playing at a high level. Obviously, over the last year, year and a half, it’s been hurting me a lot and affecting my game. Now, I’ve addressed that, which was a big thing going into the summer, and now I’m just excited about getting back out there and playing pain free."

On whether he’s pain free now:

"I’m very close to being pain free. I just have to get everything stronger."

On playing different positions:

"Three is my natural position. I’ll always be more comfortable playing at the three. I just have the ability to guard fours, and situation-wise I got stuck playing the four here. Even when I play the four, I always end up guarding guys on the perimeter."

Mike Dunleavy Jr. (click here for full audio)

On the offseason acquisitions and adding size to the roster:

"It seems like management has gone out and filled in the holes that we had. We’ve taken care of things on paper, and now have to go out and do it on the court.  That’s up to us. We’ll see how it plays out. There are no guarantees, but we’ve shored up a lot of question marks."

On the effect of head coach Scott Skiles being in the last year of his contract:

"I think it’s kind of out there in the NBA, about lame-duck coaches, but it doesn’t really strike me with this group or with him as a person and as a coach. We’re going to play hard. Guys have a ton of respect for him. I think that happens in other situations where there’s a lack of respect for a coach, but that’s certainly not the case here."

On what Marquis Daniels can bring to the Bucks:

"Marquis is one of my favorite teammates of all time. Great guy. Great guy to be around in the locker room. Smart, heady and intelligent player. Brings a certain skill set to the team. He’s just a great addition. If you can pick up a guy like that in the last couple weeks of September, that’s a big pickup."

Ekpe Udoh (click here for full audio)

On how he’s approaching this season with so many frontcourt players:

"You have to start tomorrow and earn your stripes. We have seven bigs here, so it is what it is."

On what he worked on this summer:

Oct. 1, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Ekpe Udoh ponders a question in a media interview during Milwaukee Bucks media day at the Bucks Training Center in Milwaukee. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

"I just tried to pick up on pick-and-pops. Here, there’s not that many post-ups, so you have to be ready to shoot the jumper. That’s just our offense, and you have to work off that and keep getting better."

On how the addition of a legitimate center in Dalembert affects his role:

"I just have to be a true power forward – be one of those pick-and-pop players, kind of like what Ersan is now."

Larry Sanders (click here for full audio)

On what he’s been working on:

"I would probably say my pace, decision-making, things like that around the basket and in the paint. If I’m away from the basket, setting good screens, knowing when to release, when to cut to the basket, timing things…If you look at great players and how they play, they find their pace. They’re not going 100 right now, and then they’re going 40. They find that even pace, and it works for them, so that’s what I’m trying to do."

John Henson (click here for full audio)

On his Summer League experience:

"I think playing in Vegas helped me confidence-wise – that I can play somewhat at this level. It’s not exactly an NBA game, but it’s a start. One of my goals was playing well there, and hopefully I can keep it up."

On the emotional edge he brought in Summer League:

"It’s something that’s kind of developed in me. I’m kind of a little feisty sometimes out there. I do smile a lot, but I can get down and go hard, so it’s fun."

On what he brings to the Bucks:

"Offensively, I can do a little more than people expect, and hopefully I get a chance to showcase that. But, defense is my calling card, and I think that’s how I’ll get on the floor quicker."

Doron Lamb (click here for full audio)

On what he worked on this summer:

"My point guard skills, my ball handling, my shooting and my conditioning – being ready to play the point guard"

On whether he expects to play point guard this season:

"Yeah, I think so. They have me playing the point more than I’m playing the two out here – bringing the ball up, pushing the ball, running plays and getting players where they need to be."

Beno Udrih (click here for full audio)

On the addition of Dalembert:

"He’s a great guy, great teammate. He’s long, good defender. I’m really excited to have him here. [I played with him for] one year in Sacramento, and we have the same agent. When I got to the draft, he came to where I was working out in New York. We played some two-on-two and three-on-three, so I’ve known him for awhile."

Joel Przybilla (click here for full audio)

On the health of his knees:

Oct. 1, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Marquis Daniels listens to a question during Milwaukee Bucks media day at the Bucks Training Center in Milwaukee. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

"The knees feel great. I’ve had a few too many knee surgeries. It’s the best they’ve felt in a long time, honestly. I wouldn’t be back here playing if I didn’t feel good. My health and family are more important than basketball."

Marquis Daniels (click here for full audio)

On the depth and versatility of the backcourt:

"It gives a change of speed to the game. Monta and Brandon are known for being so fast, and then Beno can come in, and Mike and I can use our size against taller guards. We can give teams a different look."